For most of us, water heaters are out of sight out of mind, until we see our energy bills. Your water heater could be using up as much as 20% of your energy bill. Most people turn their tank on and leave it, wasting energy heating water that’s not even being used throughout most of the day.
Luckily Steam came up with the first fully retrofit solution, a Smart box that installs on your existing or newly purchased tank and links to an app so you can manage your water heater from your phone.
Steam will work on both electrical and gas tanks. You have control of your water heater through the Steam app or other Smarthome hubs such as Nest and Wink so you can check and set the temperature whenever you want. It also shows the amount of hot water still left in the tank, so you’re never over using your tank, or over spending.
Steam has a pretty simple setup which should take about 10 minutes to do if you’re a decently savvy Do-It-Yourselfer. However, if you’re more like me and break everything you touch, you might want to have your electrician or plumber quickly set it up for you. Steam can also have one of their qualified installers come and set up your device. Steam is compatible with pretty much any water tank, but Steam will always confirm compatibility before delivering your unit.
WHAT STEAM CAN DO
There are a few ways Steam works to save you money. It schedules automatically as it learns your consumption patterns, but it also allows you to schedule manually if you prefer. This helps avoid peak hours and sets your tank to heat during low rate hours, which will help lower your energy bill. As Steam learns your usage patterns it will issue recommendations on consumption.
It also has leak detection functionality which will immediately send a warning to your phone should a leak be detected around your tank. There are some other exciting new features in the works, such as sensors for radon gas, carbon monoxide, and humidity detection, just to name a few.
WHAT DOES IT COST AND WHO CAN USE IT?
If you pre-order online now you can get one unit for $99, a 50% discount from their normal price! Steam also offers a referral credit of $15 for referral you send them. Some smart tanks can cost up to $1200+, with a $300-$500 installation! Steam is a steal in comparison, because even with installation costs, it shouldn’t cost more than $350 out the door.
Early adopters and those who pre-order will receive their Steam units before they hit retail. They will also be first to receive new sensors when released, completely free for those who are in the first 100 orders. Ideally Steam could be used by anyone, anywhere in the world. There’s free delivery for anyone who places an order in the US or Canada.